Greenville Police say there will be lots of detours Saturday as they expect a packed stadium and thousands of tailgaters outside Dowdy Ficklen Saturday morning and afternoon as East Carolina University plays host to Virginia Tech for the first home football Game of the 2011 season.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. Corporal R.S. Johnson of the Greenville Police Department Traffic Safety Unit says traffic is expected to be extremely heavy particularly on Charles Boulevard and E.14th Street. ECU parking lots will open 6 hours prior to the kick off time at 9:30 a.m., so you have plenty of time to park early and avoid traffic.
Police say drivers trying to avoid game traffic should not use Charles Blvd., 14th Street, Elm Street and Greenville Blvd because traffic on these roadways will be extremely heavy prior to and after the game.
14th Street will be closed from the ECU Facility Services building near West Rock Springs Road to Elm Street before and after the game. Parking on both the north and south sides of 14th Street from Elm Street to Berkley Road will by Permit Only. For that reason, no traffic will be allowed west on 14th Street from Elm Street and east on 14th Street from West Rock Springs Road without a visible parking pass or 14th Street access pass. These closings and restrictions will take place 3 1/2 hours prior to the kick off time and will remain in effect until approximately 1 and 1/2 hours after the game is over.
The Greenville Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol will be working traffic post along these routes prior to and at the end of the game. The following traffic restrictions will be in place at the conclusion of the game to expedite the flow of traffic leaving the game. Drivers can expect these post game restrictions to be put in place between 5:00-5:30 PM.
-No traffic will be allowed west on 14th Street from Elm Street. All traffic exiting from the C.M. Eppes parking lot will be diverted west on 14th Street and turn right onto College Hill Drive to 10th Street.
-All traffic exiting from Berkley Road will be diverted east onto 14th Street. 14th Street from Berkley Road to Elm Street will be eastbound traffic only. The center lane will be sent east on 14th Street crossing over Elm Street out to Greenville Blvd. and the right lane will turn right or south at Elm Street. Traffic leaving the stadium area on 14th Street will not be allowed to turn north on Elm Street. Traffic traveling south on Elm Street will have to go to Greenville Blvd. Turn around cut outs will be closed from 14th Street to Greenville Blvd.
-No traffic will be allowed east on 14th Street from West Rock Spring Road.
-Charles Blvd. will be closed to southbound traffic at 14th Street. All southbound traffic on Charles from 10th Street will be diverted west on 14th Street towards Evans Street.
-At Greenville Blvd. and Charles Blvd. no traffic will be allowed north on Charles Blvd. Traffic traveling north on Charles Blvd. from Red Banks Road will be diverted right onto Greenville Blvd.
-Traffic exiting the stadium area onto Charles Blvd. from the east side (Stadium Side) will have to travel north until they reach 14th Street. Traffic exiting onto Charles Blvd. from the west side (Carol Belk Building/Stratford Road side) will have to travel south until they reach Greenville Blvd. No U-turns will be allowed on Charles Blvd. from Greenville Blvd. north to 14th Street.
-A pedestrian walkway will be established for patrons leaving on Berkley Road. Pedestrians will need to stay within the established walkway on Berkley Road from Blackbeard’s Alley (rear stadium entrance/exit) to the railroad tracks near 14th Street. Vehicle traffic will be exiting at the same time on the same route to 14th Street on the opposing side of the barricaded walkway.
Police say normally theses traffic restrictions last approximately 1- 1.5 hours after the game, but could last longer.